2017 Intro: Brendan Newton

When Brendan Newton strode onto the court at the N.C. Phenom 150, he stood out. Of course, a 7-2 human always will stand out, and especially when he's just a high school sophomore.

That's the backdrop for what will define Brendan Newton's first impression the entirety of his existence. And, if you're a mobile and aspiring young basketball talent, that's a good thing.

Despite being so young and extremely tall for that age, in particular, Newton already shows legitimate hoops promise. The skinny center runs on his toes, suggesting that as he matures he could become quite fleet changing ends of the court.

He also scraps for rebounds and interior buckets despite his lack of muscle. Newton clearly doesn't yet possess his full complement of athletic qualities — quickness and leaping ability at the top of the list — but he's fairly well-coordinated already at this juncture and doesn't appear determined to play a finesse style. If he remains committed to playing inside, his game should blossom as his body catches up to his height.

Newton does some nice things in terms of skills as well. He blocks shots with his left hand, makes nifty hook passes out of double teams and can finish with reverses and other touch shots. The dunks in traffic hopefully will come later. I also like that he has long legs rather than a long torso, another indicator that he's likely to gain significant speed.

His recruitment is only beginning to generate heat with more surely to follow.

"I have an offer from Liberty," Newton said. "I've also met with Davidson and have heard from Virginia Tech some."

His list registers as far less important at this stage than his continued development. Newton already has his eyes on key needs.

"I need to work on my core to be a bigger presence," he said. "I get pushed around out there right now."

But while that's true, encouragingly it's his frame — and not his attitude — holding him back at this tender age. Newton played with Elite Level Hoops this year and will continue to shine at Roanoke (Va.) Faith Christian. From here, everyone simply will need to be patient as he packs on the pounds and continues to cultivate his skills.

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